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Health Care in Cartagena

Health Care in Cartagena: Locate providers, hospitals, and medical centers to find the best health services available for expats and nomads.
|-Health Care in Cartagena

The healthcare system in Cartagena is a mix of public and private providers. The quality of care varies, but overall, the city offers a range of medical services to both residents and foreigners.

Colombia’s Healthcare System

Colombia’s healthcare system is divided into two sectors: the public system, known as the General System of Social Security in Health (SGSSS), and the private system. The public system is used by both locals and foreigners, including expats and digital nomads. However, the quality of care in public hospitals can vary, and for serious medical emergencies or major surgeries, many people recommend using private hospitals. Public hospitals in Cartagena are generally well-equipped, but they can be crowded and the wait times can be long. On the other hand, private hospitals offer a higher standard of care, with modern facilities and English-speaking staff. Expats and digital nomads are allowed to use both public and private healthcare systems, but many prefer private hospitals due to the higher quality of care.

Hospitals and Clinics for Expats in Cartagena

There are several hospitals and clinics in Cartagena that are recommended for expats and digital nomads. These include:

  • Medihelp Services Clinic (Private) – Located in the Bocagrande district, this clinic offers a range of medical services.
  • Hospital Universitario del Caribe (Public) – This is the main public hospital in Cartagena, located in the Zaragocilla neighborhood.
  • Centro Médico Bocagrande (Private) – This private hospital is located in the Bocagrande district and offers a range of specialized services.
In case of emergencies or need for specialized care, expats often travel to larger cities like Bogota or Medellin, which are approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes and 1 hour by flight respectively.

Emergency Services in Cartagena

Emergency services, including ambulance services, are available in Cartagena. The emergency number in Colombia is 123. While the response times can vary, generally, the services are reliable and efficient.

Health Insurance Companies in Cartagena

There are several popular private health insurance companies in Cartagena, including Seguros Bolívar, Colpatria, and SURA. These companies offer a range of health insurance plans, including comprehensive coverage and hospitalization benefits. While some expats and digital nomads use these local companies, many opt for international health insurance providers that offer coverage in multiple countries and have English-speaking customer service.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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